Why did the Guardian publish, then remove, article on anti-Zionist ‘activist’ Stuart Rees?


Recently, our Google Alert for Israel-related content published at the Guardian and ‘Comment is Free’ included this:

google alertHowever, upon opening the link, we saw the following:

oops

The text and photo in the Google Alert was sufficient to identify the protagonist in their deleted story as anti-Israel campaigner Stuart Rees, the Director of the Sydney Peace Foundation.  

You may recall that in 2003 Rees’s group awarded their annual ‘Peace Prize’ to that prolific “liberal” Palestinian activist, Hanan Ashrawi.  Further, after pro-Israel groups criticized the award, Rees charged that Jewish groups who complained were challenging “the health of Australian democracy” by using their “formidable financial power” to engage in a campaign of “deceit, bullying and intimidation.”

Fortunately, we were also able to locate a cached page of the deleted Guardian article, written by Nikki Barrowclough.

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Though we don’t know for sure why the Guardian removed the article, upon reading the content (on the cached page) it appears that their decision may have had something to do with the timing of the article’s publication vis-a-vis the death of Ariel Sharon – particularly, a bizarre comment by Rees (in bold) in the last passage of this excerpt:

One evening in Doha, in December: Sydney University’s Professor Stuart Rees is standing in the middle of a packed room, deep in conversation with the veteran Palestinian negotiator, Dr Saeb Erekat.

Famous figures in the Palestinian political landscape mill around them. Hamas chief Khalid Mish’al is there, along with Hamas’s head of international relations, Osama Hamdan. Rees is completely engrossed in his discussion with Erekat, a key figure in the latest round of peace talks brokered by the US secretary of state, John Kerry. But later on he’ll meet Mish’al, and will become part of a conversation between the Hamas chief and the UN’s special rapporteur on Palestinian human rights, Richard Falk. “He insists that the soft power of international public opinion is strategically far superior to any further use of violence,” says Rees of Falk. Meanwhile, Mish’al tells the two men that establishing common ground with Palestinians in the West Bank and in the diaspora is one of his key goals.

It was an extraordinary gathering in the Qatari capital, which went largely unreported in the western media. The Qatar-based Arab Centre for Research and Policy Studies had organised a three-day conference titled “the Palestinian cause and the future of the Palestinian national movement”.

Little did anyone there know that just over a month later, on 11 January 2014, the world would learn that the former Israeli general and prime minister Ariel Sharon was dead. The man known as “the sleeping giant”, who had been in a coma for eight years after suffering a stroke, was 85 when he died: still hated by most Palestinians.

Rees, the founder of Sydney University’s Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, and chairman of the Sydney Peace Foundation – he set up the annual Sydney peace prize, Australia’s only international peace award – and who was one of the speakers at the Doha conference, says the former Israeli PM should be regarded as “a military thug”.

The fact that he died eight years ago but has officially only just died, indicates to me that his image as a military warrior was synonymous with the identity of Israel, and that they couldn’t afford to let him appear to die. It’s almost Kafkaesque that this should now be headline news with the mainstream media paying their respects to him,” he adds.

Later in the article, there’s the following risible – some may say Kafkaesque - characterization of the Hamas-friendly “peace warrior”:

Rees is a bluntly spoken, impassioned man whose life almost totally revolves around human rights and conflict resolution

You can read the rest of the Guardian’s puff piece on Rees, and his friendly encounters with Hamas ‘peaceniks’, HERE.

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18 comments on “Why did the Guardian publish, then remove, article on anti-Zionist ‘activist’ Stuart Rees?

  1. In the cached article there is this interesting quote;
    “The Palestinian issue has become bigger and bigger for him personally, he tells the Guardian, “even though it’s much further away from West Papua or Sri Lanka where I’ve also been and worked. Palestine is a priority for me emotionally, ideologically, because [of] the cruelty that is witnessed, for example, in the paddling of Gaza schoolchildren at this moment through sewerage to get to school because more than half of the power systems are down, which also means that intensive care units, dialysis machines, incubators, and operating theatres don’t work.”

    Nice to know that there are no problems in West Papua or Sri Lanka, or if there are the Professor didn’t witness them.
    I wonder what could be the cause of his selective myopia?

    • ” I wonder what could be the cause of his selective myopia?”

      Either an otherwise brilliant man is a steaming anti semite or the I/P debate is the world flashpoint , has been for 60 years and is interesting. It has religion,big bloc power , resources and history as reasons one might concentrate on it as opposed to the fight the other night in a pub Methil in Fife. 2 injured none serious.

      As for me it is a puzzling confrontation where a far stronger power is cheered on by ordinary funny people who speak English of a kind … when alternatives to violence are preempted and deliberately sabotaged by both sides. I am sure the dreadful murderous attack on Grezny had it supporters but I am unable to follow it my Russian being poor.

      • Your pig-headedness does expose you Berchmans. One long rant against a country that you, claiming to be ‘progressive’, (no longer Guardian progressive it seems), should take you hat off too. Instead, I can imagine you going to sleep at night raging against the one Western Liberal democracy in the Middle East.

        Have a bad day.

  2. Resolutions to conflicts none of his business, that is.
    ‘Human rights’ earn a bad reputation when represented by persons who advance antisemitc stereotypes like that of ‘Jewish financial power’ and even deny Israeli Jews human rights.

    • ‘Human rights’ earn a bad reputation when represented by persons who advance antisemitc stereotypes like that of ‘Jewish financial power’

      Then separate out what is possible to mention because a tiny tiny tiny proportionate of Jewish folk have occasionally been highly successful at banking. You should be proud .If you deny it you look silly and defensive.

      Above you merge your attack from a person ( stereotype and impossible to prove ) to a thing which is easily demonstrable. Did you notice?

  3. I wonder if Professor Rees will want to speak out against this act of cruelty;
    “Homs (Agenzia Fides) – Islamist groups have killed and beheaded a young Christian man, seriously wounding another. The incident, which occurred on 8 January, was reported to Fides only now by a priest in the diocese of Homs. The two, Firas Nader (29), and Fadi Matanius Mattah (34), were traveling by car from Homs to the Christian village of Marmarita. A group of five armed jihadists intercepted the vehicle and opened fire on the car. Upon reaching the car, militiamen, noting that Fadi was wearing a cross around his neck, beheaded him. They then took money and documents, leaving Firas on the ground wounded, believing he was already dead. Firas instead managed to escape, reaching the town of Almshtaeih on foot and was then transferred to the hospital in Tartou. Some of the faithful were able to recover the body of Mattah, bringing him to Marmarita, where the local Christian community expressed strong indignation for the horrible act carried out.
    According to a statement sent to Fides by Aid to the Church in Need” (ACN), violence against Christians in Syria, is becoming “one of the worst persecutions endured by Christians in this part of the third millennium”. According to the latest reports, more than 600,000 Christians – a third of the total Syrian faithful – are internally displaced or living as refugees in neighboring countries. Christian leaders confirm the massive exodus of Christians from Syria, which could seriously jeopardize the future of Christians in the nation.
    As ACN in Homs highlights, Marmarita and Hamat, the Syrian population, which includes many Christians, live in severe discomfort and without food, heating, shelter and medicine because of the bitter cold weather that has worsened the humanitarian crisis which exists due to the conflict. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 16/01/2014)”

    I doubt it as he seems to have very limited tunnel vision.

  4. “Rees is a bluntly spoken, impassioned man whose life almost totally revolves around human rights and conflict resolution”

    Resolving a conflict may take many forms. Perhaps Rees follows the rationale encapsulated in Gertrude Stein’s idea of what brings about peace:

    “I say that Hitler ought to have the peace prize,” she says, “because he is removing all elements of contest and of struggle from Germany. By driving out the Jews and the democratic and Left elements, he is driving out everything that conduces to activity. That means peace.”

    (To be sure, some claim this statement is made ironically but Stein’s admiration for her contemporary fascists is less amenable to an ironic interpretation).

  5. Another interesting aspect of Western pro-Palestinian fakers is their attack on the national identity of Jews who support Israel. Not even going into how the Hasbara is used idiotically by folks who need to insinuate that a pro-Israel message board poster is really an “agent for Israel” (by which I presume they mean we’re paid to post). It’s apparent that if you’re Jewish and your support Israel that you couldn’t possibly be an American citizen, or an Australian citizen as per this dipshit. Is there anything more hate mongerish than that?

    Fuckwads and asshats. I do feel sorry for Palestinians who are willing to sacrifice some leadership demands for the opportunity at self-autonomy in large part because the so-called peace warriors who have taken up their cause in Western countries are the most racist scumbags since the Klan. Intimidating chocolate and soda shoppers and smashing produce in the stores. Claiming one citizen is really not a citizen. (Might we be 2/3 citizens?) Insisting that it’s PEACEFUL to blow up a pizzeria because all those dead children were just going to become IDF anyway.

    Stay KKKlassy.

  6. Rees says that “you had Saeb Erekat and Osama Hamdan embracing each other as blood brothers when they met informally”.

    Perhaps Abbas urged the G. to pull the piece?

  7. I love the way the G characterises this meeting as “peace talks”. On what basis? By their own account, it appears to be a gathering of many of the leading players on ONE side of the conflict. By that argument, a meeting between Churchill and his cabinet in the War Rooms beneath London in 1940 qualifies as “peace talks” despite the fact they solely discussed how they could best beat the crap out of Hitler.

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